Job DescriptionThe International Education Division•is currently accepting applications for Chief of Party for USAID-funded MERIT: Malawi Early Grade Reading Improvement Activity. This activity assists the Government of Malawi•s efforts to improve the reading abilities of Malawian students in Standards 1-4. MERIT will improve reading instruction for primary grade reading outcomes, increase parental and community engagement in supporting student reading, create safer learning environments for reading, institute pathways to sustainability, and advance the USAID/Malawi Country Development Cooperation Strategy priority for integration. •MERIT operates nationwide, and has offices in all 6 education divisions in Malawi. The activity runs from October 2015 to September 2020, with a contract value of USD 65 million.
The Chief of Party (COP) will provide strategic direction and overall technical and administrative leadership for the activity. S/he will serve as primary liaison with USAID/Malawi on management and technical matters. The Chief of Party is responsible for overall project performance, management, and execution and ensures exceptional quality and timeliness of project deliverables within budget and compliance parameters.
The COP will be based in Lilongwe, Malawi with responsibilities that require traveling to other districts.
- Manage technical and administrative personnel and subcontractors in the implementation of a large, complex activity to improve the reading skills of Malawian students in Standards 1-4 nationwide.
- Ensure that all activities conform to the terms and conditions of project requirements, including cost, schedule and quality parameters.
- Serve as primary liaison to USAID/ Malawi on management and strategic issues to maximize impact and scale, minimize costs, and maximize efficiency and sustainability in achieving project requirements.
- Lead the coordination of program activities among a diverse group of stakeholders and beneficiaries including the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MOEST), Malawi Institute of Education (MIE), District Education Offices, school officials, civil society, and other activity partners.
- Ensure internal integration of project activities through: 1) the annual work plan and budgeting process; 2) creating/maintaining an effective project management team; 3) overseeing an effective monitoring and evaluation system.
- Provide leadership and oversight for areas such as Finance, Operations, Reporting, Public Affairs, and Human Resources.
- Develop and implement practices to ensure a high level of staff morale and retention.
- D irect leadership of professional and support staff, oversight and evaluation of staff performance and deliverables, and contract management
Required Skills and Qualifications:
- Master•s degree in education; Ph.D. in education or Ed.D. preferred.
- 12 years of experience in relevant technical and management roles within the fields of primary education, early grade reading, curriculum development, and teacher professional development.
- At least 5 years of experience managing and supervising large scale donor-funded education projects in sub-Saharan Africa, preferably for USAID. •
- Demonstrated experience scaling up activities of similar scope, in a context similar to Malawi.
- Knowledgeable and experienced with international development contracting policies and procedures, specifically USAID.
- Prior experience working with Ministries of Education and other education sector stakeholders and partners.
- Ability to build consensus and demonstrated ability to recruit and develop high performing teams; demonstrated ability to manage international and national staff.
- Experience and knowledge of capacity development, professional development, and systems strengthening, including working with local partners to ensure adherence to sub-award requirements
- Experience and demonstrated capacity to build and sustain partnerships to achieve development results.
- Excellent communication skills and ability (verbal and written)
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability.
- Strong writing and communication abilities and fluency in written and spoken English.•
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